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BAFTA Awards 2014: Chiwetel Ejiofor wins Best Actor for "12 years a slave"

“12 Years a Slave”, the distressing tale of a man sold into slavery, was the big winner at the Baftas on Sunday, giving the Steve McQueen directed picture a huge pre-Oscars boost.

The film, adapted from Solomon Northup’s 1853 memoir, took the coveted best film prize at a star-studded ceremony at London’s Royal Opera House.

It scored an earlier success when British actor Chiwetel Ejiofor, who portrays free black man Northup as he is kidnapped and enslaved in the United States, walked away with the best actor prize.

Ejiofor said he was “so deeply honoured and privileged” to receive the award and praised McQueen.

"This is yours by the way, I know that, you know that,” he told the director.

“I’m going to keep it but it’s yours”.London-born McQueen used his acceptance speech to thank his “one and only mother” and to highlight the issue of modern day slavery.

"There are 21 million people in slavery as we sit here,” he explained. “I just hope 150 years from now our ambivalence will not allow another film-maker to make this film”.

McQueen’s work beat off competition from crime-comedy “American Hustle”, pirate drama “Captain Phillips”, space sci-fi thriller “Gravity” and “Philomena”, the tale of an Irishwoman searching for a son taken by nuns.

Below is a list of BAFTA 2014 winners;

Best Film – 12 Years A Slave
Outstanding British Film — “Gravity”
Director — Alfonso Cuaron, “Gravity”
Actor — Chiwetel Ejiofor, “12 Years a Slave”
Actress — Cate Blanchett, “Blue Jasmine”
Supporting Actor — Barkhad Abdi, “Captain Phillips”
Supporting Actress — Jennifer Lawrence, “American Hustle”
Rising Star — Will Poulter Original
Screenplay — Eric Warren Singer and David O. Russell, “American Hustle”
Adapted Screenplay — Steve Coogan and Jeff Pope, “Philomena”
Film Not in the English Language — “The Great Beauty”
Music — “Gravity”
Cinematography — “Gravity”
Editing — “Rush”
Production Design — “The Great Gatsby”
Costume Design — “The Great Gatsby”
Sound — “Gravity”
Visual Effects — “Gravity”
Makeup and Hair — “American Hustle”
Animated Feature — “Frozen”
Short Film — “Room 8”
Short Animation — “Sleeping With the Fishes”
Documentary — “The Act of Killing”
Outstanding Contribution to British Cinema — Peter Greenaway
Academy Fellowship — Helen Mirren
British Debut — Writer-director Kieran Evans, “Kelly + Victor”

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